How a 3rd DUI Charge is Treated in Chesterfield County

When someone violates the same law for the third time, there will be relatively little leniency from the court. This is especially true when it comes to driving while intoxicated. There are differences to how a 3rd DUI is treated in Chesterfield County compared to his the first and second are treated. A repeat DUI defense attorney could help give you the best chance at a fair outcome.

How is Defending a 3rd DUI Different from Defending a 1st DUI?

The big difference between a first-time DUI and a third-time DUI is the attitude of the judge and the Commonwealth’s attorney. The majority of first-offenders learn their lesson and never have to be involved with the court again.

After one DUI, the goal is to make sure the driver understands how alcohol affects their ability to drive; by the third one, they know what could happen and they have apparently not learned their lesson. The judge and Commonwealth’s attorney have a lot less patience and tend to not be as lenient.

How Courts Treat Third-Offense DUI Charges

Prosecutors and judges in Chesterfield County treat three-time DUIs seriously because at that point it means that they probably had a substance abuse problem and that the programs that they have gone through, like VASAP, have not worked. At this point, it becomes an issue of keeping the defendant and the rest of the public safe.

Usually, prosecutors will not offer diversion programs or probation as punishment for a third offense. They would prefer to have the person do active incarceration time. If they did do a program, it would likely be one where the defendant cannot leave the facility.

Building a Defense

A lawyer will look to see if there was a traffic infraction or if there was a suspicion of a DUI such as swerving out of the lane; and also see if the tests were properly administered.

If the person was asked to walk and turn, or do the one-leg stand test, a lawyer will look to see if the ground was flat-leveled, if the person had on flat shoes or high heel shoes, or if they had a medical condition that would prevent them from doing the walk and turn. Next, they look at whether the breathalyzer test was given properly, including whether the full waiting period was observed and if the machine was properly calibrated.

Evidence of intoxication includes bloodshot glassy eyes, slurred speech, being unsteady on their feet, being unable to conduct the tests or understand the instructions, and whether or not they have a Blood Alcohol Level above 0.08, known as the presumptive amount.

It is hard to overcome the belief that someone is not intoxicated once they break into the presumptive amount. The court also considers their age, their employment, and whether they are the sole supporter of their family.

The Benefit of Local Experience

The benefit of finding a lawyer to handle the case is that they will likely know the prosecutors and judges, and know how they will react to certain circumstances. Someone who has not been in the courts with those individuals might not know what to expect, which could affect the ultimate outcome.

Talk to an Attorney About How a 3rd DUI Charge is Treated in Chesterfield County

You must be extra careful when navigating a repeat DUI charge. It is best to have a lawyer present to explain how a 3rd DUI charge is treated in Chesterfield County. Call us today to take the next steps.

Chesterfield Third-Offense DUI Lawyer